We have made great strides.
We have overcome a lot of strong negative emotions, disrupted bad habits and eliminated mistaken bias and perception. We have started to act with patience and generosity, applied ourselves joyfully to virtuous actions and our practice of meditation. Our wisdom and insight has begun to blossom and we can appreciate and see the connections we have with our communities and environment.
Our life has been impacted by our practice. This is important work, and we have so much more work to do.
As we continue to develop our intention to benefit all beings, the aim of our meditation is to cut through layer after layer of fixation and grasping.
Layer after layer we eliminate our self-cherishing behavior.
Layer after layer we shed neurosis and confusion.
Layer after layer we become more open and vulnerable, opening our hearts and minds.
Bodhisattvas on the path to pure and total presence progress through ten bhumis or stages in their training.
First is Great Joy. Having eliminated the coarse layers of self-grasping, they generously dedicate their life and energy to benefit others without suffering from regret or dissatisfaction.
Second is Stainless, where the bodhisattva never falls back or gives up. Their intention is stainless.
Third is Luminous, where bodhisattvas perfect the practice of patience, willing to work for countless eons to bring benefit to others.
Fourth is Radiant. Having cut through layer after layer of self-grasping and fixation on negative emotions and outer circumstances, the bodhisattva works joyfully even in the worst hell realms for the benefit of others.
All progress is made by cutting through self-grasping and fixation on whatever is coming up in our experience.
Fifth is Difficult to Conquer, which is our own mind. Our own bias and distorted perception. Our own wandering and confused mind is difficult to conquer.
Sixth is Manifest. Wisdom and insight arise naturally. We see truly, connections are seen and insight is shared for the benefit of others.
Seventh is Gone Afar. The bodhisattva has gone far in developing their qualities and realization, and they tirelessly work to benefit others through skillful means. They are adaptive and teach according to the needs of beings.
Eighth is Immovable. All negative emotions and afflictions have been purified and one is able to effortlessly and spontaneously act for the welfare of beings.
Ninth is Perfect Intellect. Clear, concise, direct knowing and the ability to connect and teach others in whatever way is necessary for their benefit.
Tenth is Dharma Cloud. Taking on any form in any direction, they continually act for the welfare of all beings.
All of this stems from the intention to benefit others. All of this grows and progresses from cutting through our own fixation and grasping.
Strengthen your intent.
Clarify your practice.
Accomplish your own aims and the aims of others simultaneously.